Who wants to watch a movie in which Spiderman only beats up petty thieves and stops petty crimes? Spiderman cannot attain superhero status without supervillains like Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. Batman needs the Joker and Bane. It’s not the superheroes that make new blockbuster hits, it’s the supervillains.
Our new, wannabe socialist superheroes know all too well the need to invent supervillains. Bernie Sanders needs to build up inequality as the monster that will destroy our society. He needs to demonize “billionaires and millionaires.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez needs to invent the specter of world destruction via climate change. She must demonize oil and coal companies to sell her Green New Deal and portray herself as the superhero with the plan to save the world. Not willing to be left behind, Elizabeth Warren just fabricated a new supervillain, the big tech industry, which she wants to break up and save the day for all you gullible netizens.
It’s your turn Kamala Harris, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, and Joe Biden. Who are your supervillains who you promise to wipe out and rescue the imaginary innocent victims?
Real world problems rarely ever have anything to do with supervillains. Let’s take healthcare in America as an example. Every year, the government spends $500 billion on Medicaid, which is a healthcare program targeted mainly for low-income people. There are about 50 million people who live below or near the poverty line. This amounts to $10,000 per person per year which is sufficient to buy an $800 per month ‘Gold’ level healthcare plan. Then why do we need Medicare for All?
In addition to Medicaid, the government spends $500 billion dollars on other welfare programs like food stamps, CHIP, unemployment “insurance”, and so on. That’s another $10,000 per poor person per year. All in all, the government spends $20,000 per person below the poverty line. If you are a family of three, say a single mother with two children, living below the poverty line, the government is spending $60,000 per year in your name. That is more than the median household income of America which is at $56,000.
It is obvious that the people are not being helped to the tune of $20,000 per person. So, if you are a politician who is sincerely concerned about helping the poor people, your main focus should be to make Medicaid and all other welfare programs efficient so poor people get the maximum benefit.
Why then does the government need to tax “billionaires and millionaires” at 70 percent or 90 percent when the government is already collecting more than enough to pay for welfare programs for all poor people in America? Because improving government efficiency by fighting bureaucrats is like Spiderman beating up petty thieves. Politicians would rather invent supervillains like Koch Brothers, Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Wall Street bankers. These supervillains are much more glamorous than petty government bureaucrats.
New York mayor Bill de Blasio wanted to raise taxes on Wall Street millionaires to help fund childcare. Concerned about the negative impacts of these new taxes, Governor Cuomo instead proposed to fund de Blasio’s child care plan via other resources. This did not please the mayor. Bill de Blasio cared more about fighting the supervillains and burnishing his social justice credentials rather than helping people with childcare.
You can come up with any half-baked save-the-world scheme as long as you profess good intentions and build up good supervillains. The goal is not to accomplish anything. The goal is to appear as if you are doing something big. It does not matter even if the end result is exactly opposite of your intentions.
You could put forth an Affordable Care Act and claim victory, even if the law actually ends up making healthcare less affordable. In the name of making the economy safer, you could enact onerous banking regulations that end up making big banks bigger and the economy less safe. You can usher in ethanol subsidies with great fanfare, and it will not matter that corn-based ethanol production actually ends up increasing net greenhouse gas emissions.
This is the trick by which the Green New Deal and Medicare For All will eventually be sold to the American people. There are a host of other fake supervillains that are ripe for the picking such as stock buybacks, GMO crops, transgender bathrooms, Chinese imports, opioid crisis, illegal immigrants, campaign finance reform, Russian collusion, abolishing the Electoral College, and the mortal threat of Amazon attempting to create new jobs in New York.
As I was writing this article, Elizabeth Warren unleashed a new super weapon against an old, vanquished supervillain. Warren is getting behind this hare-brained idea called ‘Reparations,’ supposedly to fix the historic crimes perpetrated by the despicable institution called slavery. Don’t get me wrong, slavery was a real supervillain and there were some real superheroes who helped end it. Slavery may have ended a long time ago, but in her desperate zeal to shamelessly further her political ambitions, Elizabeth Warren will resurrect the ghost of slavery so she could produce a Hollywood-style mega-blockbuster about slaying a made-up supervillain. Coming soon to a theater near you!
Never mind that there is no practical or morally-defensible way to punish and compensate people for wrong doings and sufferings of their great grandparents who died long-long ago. At least none that we can’t do using a trillion dollar welfare budget already at our disposal. As David Brooks, a self-proclaimed “slow convert to the cause,” puts it in his New York Times column, “Reparations are a drastic policy and hard to execute, but the very act of talking about and designing them heals a wound and opens a new story.” In other words, it does not matter that Reparations will not make an iota of difference to the lives of people affected, we should still do it because it makes for a good show.
In one of the Spiderman movies, a character from the mob angrily exclaims that there were no monsters before Spiderman came to the city.
You make a great point, Angry Man, you really do! May be it is time for all of us to call out our phony socialist superheroes.